Tag Archives: advertising

Super Bowl Advertising – It’s Halftime in America, Do You Feel Lucky?

Who won the Brand Bowl for you?

Ever since Apple’s “1984” commercial launched the Macintosh, the Super Bowl has been as much about commercials as football. And at an average cost of $3.5 million for 30 seconds of airtime, the price reflects the great expectations of both the audience and advertisers.

The Nielsen Co. reported a record 111.3 million viewers watched the 2012 game, narrowly topping last year’s Super Bowl TV audience of 111 million.

Four major product categories dominate the big spenders, according to Daily Finance: “automotive, film, food, including snacks and fast food, and beverages. Four of the top 10 Super Bowl advertisers are auto companies. Another four are food and beverage manufacturers. Three movie studios are in the top 25.”

One of the most talked and tweeted about commercials of the 2012 Super Bowl of Advertising was the automotive spot narrated by Clint Eastwood.

 

Unlike other advertisers who released previews on YouTube, Chrysler played it close to the vest, airing their spot only after Madonna’s unpaid halftime commercial (let’s be honest: she’s promoting a new single, album, tour and a movie).

Immediately after the spot aired, the Twitterverse was all… a-twitter. Some people got a lump in their throat. Others got heartburn.

Ostensibly promoting GM brands (Ram/Dodge/Jeep/Chrysler), it ended with the tag line “Imported from Detroit” just like last year’s commercial, which featured rapper Eminem, a native of the Motor City.

But people seem to differ on the whole point of it. Was the actor trying to promote American-made cars, give the country a pep talk, or re-elect President Obama? Or perhaps all of the above? Continue reading

Kohl’s Ad Inflicts Black’s “Friday” Earworm on Shoppers

Kohl's brings Rebecca Black's "Friday" back for "Black Friday". Now say that five times fast.

It had to happen. But I can’t decide if the new Kohl’s commercial is brilliant or insane. The only thing I’m sure of is that it’s insanely catchy.

Kohl’s is promoting their post-Thanksgiving “Black Friday” holiday sale with a jingle set to the maddeningly ubiquitous viral hit “Friday” by Rebecca Black.

“Black Friday, Black Friday, gotta go to Kohl’s on Black Friday…” Continue reading

Where Where You When Steve Jobs Died?

How did you find out about Steve Jobs death?

Years from now, will you remember? I think I will, which is why it’s worth at least a blog post.

I first heard about Steve Jobs passing via Twitter. On my MacBook Pro. The poetry of the “coincidence” didn’t escape me. As Matthias Worch put it, “That’s not a bad way to go.”

iHeaven. A poetic tribute.

We have the technology, so let’s put it to use in remembering one of the pioneers who made it all possible. Steve Jobs not only helped create a new industry with the Macintosh personal computer, but also revolutionized software, music distribution, digital moviemaking, smart phones and tablet computing. And along the way, Apple also put out some pretty mean advertising, usually in collaboration with agency TBWA Chiat/Day.

Here’s the TV commercial that launched the Apple Macintosh computer. It’s widely regarded as one of the best, most effective adverts ever made. Directed by Ridley Scott, the spot aired only once in January 1984, but it turned the Superbowl into the advertising showcase it’s become today.


RIP Steve, and thanks for showing us how to Think Different. “Because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

 

Advertising Tributes to 9-11

American Airlines ran this ad following the attacks of September 11, 2001.

In the wake of September 11, 2001, advertisers struggled to find the right tone in their communications. It didn’t seem appropriate to try to be funny following the devastating terrorist attacks that took nearly 3,000 lives. But it was also difficult to appear serious and sincere while promoting a commercial venture.

Sympathy Ads

The vast majority of print advertising that ran in the immediate aftermath offered sympathy and condolences. Businesses that had been located in the World Trade Center expressed remorse over the loss of their employees and vowed to continue.

I was amazed to see the variety of condolence ads that came from countries all over the world, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where the majority of hijackers were originally from. For a while I saved a file with many of these ads, but it got to be overwhelming. I now wish I had some of them to post a few images for you.

Life—and even advertising—had to go on. Continue reading

What Do You Do When the Power Goes Out?

The famous Victrola brand, made by the Victor Talking Machine Co. of Camden, NJ.

Boy, we sure do depend on electricity! So, what do you do when there isn’t any?

Besides remembering where the candles are, I had to explain to my kids which of the house phones would work in the event our power went out. Of course, the laptop and phone batteries will only last so long. But without a phone, computer, video game or TV, what would they do for entertainment? Somehow I can’t picture them reading by candle light.

Even before the San Diego power failure, I was thinking about how fun it could be to use my recently restored Victrola phongraph in the event of an outage for some old-school musical entertainment. (Better than trying to act out a home-style version of “Glee,” right?)  Continue reading

Taco Bell Bites Back with Ad Aimed at Hungry Attorneys

Taco Bell asks attorneys for an apology. Not that they really expect to get one. After all, that would mean admitting they were wrong.

Where’s the beef” was an ad slogan for Wendy’s back in 1984. But lately it’s been a charge leveled at Taco Bell by a law firm out to pick the fast food giant’s deep pockets.

Alabama-based law firm Beasley Allen Crow Methvin Portis & Miles (now there’s a mouthful) claimed that Taco Bell’s mystery meat was comprised of only 35 percent beef, based on an unspecified test by an unnamed analyst. Taco Bell insisted their beef was 88 percent beef, 12 percent “Secret Recipe.”

Taco Bell fought back with hard-hitting ads in January that said: “Thank you for suing us. Here’s the truth about our seasoned beef…”

Obviously someone smelled a meal ticket. As USA Today reported, “With annual sales pushing $7 billion, Taco Bell ranks as the nation’s sixth-largest fast-food company, according to the 2009 findings from the research firm Technomic. Continue reading

Atlas Shrugged The Movie – John Galt Goes Spartacus

The target audience for the new Atlas Shrugged movie, doing their own advertising for it. (Photographed in Santa Ana, California, April 15, 2010.)

Here’s a challenge for marketers: How do you promote a low-budget independent movie without any stars? A film based on a verbose 1,000-plus-page novel about a philosophy called “Objectivism.” Got a campaign yet?

(Hint: social media, of course!)

Atlas Shrugged, Part 1” arrives in theaters on April 15 —“tax day” in the U.S., the traditional deadline for filing income tax returns. Coincidence? (Sure, just like the sudden omnipresence of Highway Patrol issuing a lot of piddly traffic tickets in a futile effort to bail California out of debt. But that’s another story.)

Before we get to the marketing of the movie, a little background about the book.

Communism vs. Capitalism

Published in 1957, Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand’s magnum opus. The author lived through the communist revolution in Russia and came to America because its capitalist free-market system represented her ideal of a free society. As the book jacket summarizes, Atlas is the story of a man who said he would stop the motor of the world—and did. But that doesn’t quite explain the story’s relevance today. Continue reading

A Toast to Guinness Advertising

Guinness produces brilliant advertising. Oh, and their stout is not too shabby either.

For creative types, beer is the Holy Grail of advertising accounts, because almost anything goes. It’s a chance to do outrageous gags with big budgets. But the problem with most beer commercials is that they usually end up being generic and formulaic. Funny set-up, add logo, insert tag line as punch line at the end. Done.

Guinness has always been different. Sure, it’s had plenty of big budget TV spots, but they’ve always been based on the brand’s “unique differentiators” (as they say in marketing-speak): the Irish heritage and the slow pour that a good stout requires. Guinness commercials wouldn’t work for any other brewer.

A Guinness Facebook post recently asked fans to list their favorite tag line from the brand. The responses were many and varied: “Brilliant.” “Good things come to those who wait.” “It’s good for you.” “Guinness for strength.” “It’s alive inside.” “My goodness, my Guinness!” Continue reading

Mobile Advertising on Steroids

This mobile truck wrap was hard to miss.

I think I sprained my eyes looking at this truck wrap. Now he’s probably going to hunt me down and make me drop and give him 50.

Pop Culture Snack

Sometimes a good headline is all it takes. Loved this one for Pop Chips.

Nice headline on the car. I’d never heard of Pop Chips before but the line on the side of this passing car was enough to make me want to try the chips. (Don’t worry, my passenger shot the photo.)

According to the website description, Pop Chips (excuse me: popchips™) are not fried or baked, because that would be unhealthy or un-tasty. They’re popped. Heated up like popcorn apparently. (Nuked?) S’posed to be healthy or at least organic.

popchips™ are also uncapitalized. So what is it with art directors or brand managers and the aversion to capitalization? Just a style thing, I guess.

Have you tried them yet? Pop on over to popchips.com to find out where to find them. Now I’m getting hungry.

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